Ebeyers’ Outreach To The Village & Reconsidering Church Attendance
It started with a coffee run. On a trip to the closest city, International Mission Board missionaries Jason and Robin Ebeyer were praying to find a “person of peace” – someone who would welcome them and help in their ministry efforts. And, in an article for Lifeway Research, church health consultant Mark Dance encourages pastors to reconsider how they are related to attendance at their church.
It started with a coffee run.
On a trip to the closest city, International Mission Board missionaries Jason and Robin Ebeyer were praying to find a “person of peace” – someone who would welcome them and help in their ministry efforts.
The Ebeyers have been working for the last few years with the people in Isan, a region in Thailand. The Village of Three Temples had no Christian presence, and they needed someone to help them meet the people.
When the Ebeyers stopped to get coffee about five miles from the village, they met Tia. Tia is a mother and wife in her mid-40s. She was a Buddhist and knew the cost of leaving her religion. She’d be betraying her family. In Buddhist traditions, no one would attend her funeral when she dies.
When the Ebeyers met Tia, she was extraordinarily kind as she served them coffee and was patient with them as they stumbled through the language barrier. They repeatedly returned to Tia’s coffee shop.
In bits and pieces, the couple explained the gospel to Tia. She’d been weighing the cost of following Christ since she started to hear the good news of Jesus. The Lord did a work in her heart, and she prayed to receive Christ.
Tia blazed the trail for the Ebeyers’ outreach to the village. Seven people made professions of faith in less than two months.
Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.
In an article for Lifeway Research, church health consultant Mark Dance encourages pastors to reconsider how they are related to attendance at their church.
In the article, he discusses how attendance is used as a measurement of church health and some ways church leaders might need to reconsider their measuring.
He writes, “Real church growth is kingdom growth which is measured by baptisms—period. Resist the temptation to brag about transfer growth or high watermark Sundays. Instead, double down on advancing the gospel and your attendance growth will follow the kingdom growth.”
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